As you might've guessed from the title, this post is about a break-up. Specifically, my recent break-up. Because this is real-life and not a Nicholas Spark's novel, if you want a happy ending, I would advise you to discontinue reading. If you think this is going to be more Bridget Jones territory, you are also sadly mistaken.
Don't cry for me Argentina, I have some wisdom to impart.
To spare the blushes of those involved, it's enough to say that suddenly, abruptly, and without indication, I found myself single. I couldn't have been more surprised if Vladimir Putin knocked on my front door asking for a chat because he was having homoerotic fantasies (Although, in fairness, would anyone be that surprised if he was? The lady doth protest too much if you know what I'm saying).
In the same week, I suffered another heartbreak - of a different kind, but also involving feeling foolish due to believing one thing of a person and getting something quite different - so within the space of a few days, I experienced two lashes of an emotional whip. C'est la-feckin-vie, lads.
Anyway, the circumstances and persons involved in the particulars are not particularly important. In all honesty, they rarely are when your heart is broken. Whether it's by a boy, girl, job, family member, friend, death, whatever - what has happened is not nearly as important as the aftermath. It is in the aftermath that you have to live.
We are an imperfect race and as such, we deal with things imperfectly. I dealt with these events how many of us deal with a grieving shock - I alternated between feeling fabulous to feeling shit, with a good dash of alcohol and drunken dancing thrown in. I was surrounded by a veritable army of friends and family who, between them, got drunk with me, got me sober, imparted advice, listened to the tangled threads in my head, tried to bolster my self-esteem and did anything they could to make me feel better. The kindness of people never fails to revive me.
Through them, a good deal of brooding, and that old companion, a little bit of time, I've come to the following conclusions that I think anyone who has ever suffered a disappointment can identify with:
- If you have to keep asking what you did wrong, you probably didn't do anything wrong. If you gave it your all and it still wasn't enough, you're not the one to blame
- There is no shame in loving with your whole heart. Yes, you feel foolish now. You wish you had never entered into the endeavor. In your raw state, you might question how you'll ever jump back in again. But you shouldn't. There is nothing gained if nothing is ventured and just because one idiot - in whatever guise that is - wouldn't or couldn't see their luck, doesn't mean nobody will.
- Emotions don't make you weak. They make you brave. It takes courage to be honest about how you feel, even if you don't always want to feel that way. It's a lot easier to lie to yourself, to refuse to examine what's really going on in your head and your heart. But that's no way to live. And it's no way to be happy. You need to figure out what you're feeling in order to figure out what will make you happy.
Have a little faith, give it a little time, you're going to be just fine.